Does not color within the lines

The last few weeks have been spent screening in my front porch here at the stately manor “Rabbit Run”. As I caulked the gaps in wood that hadn’t been cut straight, an old post came to mind that covered the situation perfectly

Does not color within the lines

When I was seven and serving the first year (I’ll explain being seven years old and in the first grade later) of a six-year sentence at Summerville Elementary, a note was sent home to my mother.

“Does not color within the lines. Very messy”.

No truer words were ever written about me. Those eight simple words portended great feats to come.

Before concluding my studies at Summerville Elementary, I became a legend for an episode involving oil-based paint, a floor fan running at high speed and a room full of parents and teachers attending a clean-up day.

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Loading Your Own

Loading Your Own

JD and my second attempt at producing a hand crafted firearm was much more ambitious than our first and came about two years after the time we blew a hole through the side of his dad’s garage. Our hearing had mostly returned to normal by then, although the tan on our backsides seemed to be rather permanent. We were inspired to make a new attempt by Mikie’s dad’s brand new hobby of reloading his own shells.

This new “black powder” gun utilized manufactured gun powder thoughtfully supplied by Mikie’s dad. Or to put it another way, we borrowed a few of the several boxes of 12ga. shotgun shells he had reloaded for an upcoming dove shoot. We were under strict orders not to touch the many guns around our houses without an adult’s permission, but nothing was said about the ammunition. He was, at least, smart enough to keep the loose powder secured. The powder the #9 shot supplied was much better than the rather crude though effective type that we had made using sulfur, charcoal and nitrate for our first black powder gun.

To avoid detection, we decided to use only part of the powder in each shell so that the number of boxes remained the same. JD uncrimped the ends and dumped contents of each one till he had emptied them all. Mikie and I, meanwhile, separated the gun powder and shot into two piles, and then separated out the powder that we needed for our project. The shot and remaining powder was divided up into equal piles and we carefully started replacing them into each empty shell.

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Black Powder

I had been visiting my cousin, JD, when he developed a sudden interest in chemistry after our firecracker supply from the Fourth was exhausted . I think this was the same year that we bought the hydrochloric acid for our experiments in generating hydrogen for “lighter than air” craft. Most of these “experiments” were trial balloons, so to speak, for other experiments preformed as young adults and generally yielded the same results — blowing up in our faces. Children back then were praised for having an inquisitive mind and most everything that we did as children in the late 50’s, early 60’s was regarded as a learning experience, although we kids regarded it as merely surviving another day. And a lot of my learning experiences did involve trips to the emergency room..They were builders of character or at least a tough hide… if you survived. Now these same “experiments” would get me incarcerated.

Our experiments in basic chemistry consisted of mainly trial and error–mainly error, but we were soon happily laying blackpowder trails across any fire ant hill that hadn’t already been vacated due to our continuous harassment with a variety of household weapons of mass destruction. It didn’t take long before boredom and “what if’s” turned our interest from homemade fireworks to projectile geometry.

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Fall is heavy on the air. Storms far off at sea bring heaviness to the air. The falling of the leaves add a subtle scent. A light frost usually comes sometime before Thanksgiving. On my calendar, Thanksgiving is the close of Fall. The day after is the beginning of Winter

The weeks after Halloween leading to Thanksgiving were a time of preparation during my childhood as my mother, aunts and grandmothers began the system that led to a feast. Cake layers were cooked and put in the freezer. Some cakes were finished and frozen. Chickens were cooked and the broth saved. My mother could get more meals from one small fryer than anyone I’ve ever known. Cornbread was prepared for the dressing. But the deserts, the heavenly deserts.

Now I won’t call my mother cheap, but I will tell you that she could pinch a penny into quarters, both geometrically and financially. She came by it honestly though being raised as the youngest of eight children on a north Alabama dirt farm that raised more children than crops. As a matter of family legend, an exceptionally good crop was what led the family to becoming Republicans when a FDR bureaucrat came by and told my grandfather that he had planted to much of a certain crop and had to plow it back into the field

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Jeremiah was pretty jealous

Over the years, I’ve had a problem with timber rattlers in the dog pens. A few of  the pack has been bitten. I finally gave up and wrapped all the pens in 1/4 inch hardware cloth. DSCN3931

I haven’t had a problem with timber rattlers since.  Copperheads are a different matter. I haven’t seen one in over ten years here on Rabbit Run. I’ve killed two this year

Jeremiah was pretty jealous when I went to the pens just before lunch today because the dogs were raising cain. Teddy NoPass had a copperhead hemmed up in a corner and wouldn’t let him into Jeremiah’s pen. I shot it with the .45 Judge I carry loaded with .410 #6 shotDSCN3935

I’ll keep an eye on Teddy. It looked like he had a bite on the bridge of his nose but no symptoms of a bite

Some Reruns for your Halloween entertainment

Grubby and the Pumpkin Bottom Haint’s
Haint (n) archaic rural for spooks, ghosts. As in “Help, help, a haint’s got me”
redneckin Dictionary of common terms


In the dark. At night. With a full moon


Grubby’s Revenge

Woooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
The sound seemed to rise from the old Leeds house, gliding eerily on the tips of the tall white oaks and sweet gums whose limbs capped the holler leading into Phenix City’s Pumpkin Bottom cemetery. 


Hattie was an ageless tiny black lady with snow white wooly hair cut short all over. Blue gray eyes of a long dead fish on ice peered from a leathery wrinkled face the dark brown color of a well handled buckeye. Eyes that gave you a vague unsettled feeling when she fixed them on you, seeming to look over you, through you, into you, like you were some curious specimen opened for dissection.


Grubby and the Year of the Moogly

Red Owl’s deer skin moccasins slapped against the sand along the wigtacjsji (which roughly translates into where one trips over his guts once in a generation or two because of the return of the Moogly) creek bed as he ran in the darkness. He glanced over his shoulder in fear. He had earned the name “Red Owl” for his daring during the night hours, a time when most Indians of the Creek nation tried to avoid moving alone. 
He knew fear now. Not fear of the dark, but fear of that which fed in the dark.


Catapults; Weapons of mass distraction

I came across this post in a old hard drive

Catapults; Weapons of mass distraction

Summerville Elementary, with its vaguely green faux stucco cement exterior and pea graveled asphalt playground/ball field, would have been considered quite inadequate, if not downright dangerous even by Phenix City’s standards of the day. If we had had any standards to apply.

Six classrooms, six grades, with the Principal doubling as the sixth grade teacher.
Worn wooden board floors were gray from years of industrial cleaners and buffed to a dull sheen by countless pairs of Ked’s forming lines down the three sided hallways leading to the assembly/rainy day gym/ lunchroom. The smell of soured milk, rutabagas and greens emanating from within competed with chalk, crayons and the sweaty little bodies lined up outside for preeminence in the heavy southern air .

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The Great Loop or bust

GF and my plan to sell out and do the Great Loop has limped into a holding pattern or maybe even limbo.  For those not in the know, The Great Loop is a 6,000 mile trip from your home port up the Atlantic coast through canals into the great lakes then down the Illinois, TennTom waterway into the gulf and around Florida. Where you are cruising is season dependent. The Gulf and off of Florida is winter to avoid hurricane season. The Atlantic coast is spring. The Great Lakes area is summer and the TennTom is fall
We had looked at this (or at least I had) as the last great adventure of my life. A chance to create some memories for my declining years and memories for my bride who will, God willing, outlive me by an estimated 30 years. Besides, since GF will sell Rabbit Run after I pass from this mortal coil, why not sell now and enjoy a share of it. No need leaving GF a pot of money to spend on her next husband.
Our plan had been to buy now, move on the boat in the spring of 2019 on the St Johns river in Florida for a year of shakedown and training. Lamont who lives in Jacksonville was to have been GF and my guru. In the spring of 2020, we would move north on the intracoastal with the rest of the fleet of 2020 on the loop
What has brought our trip to a halt is a series of events. Read More

The Battle of the Fleas

We here at the East Alabama Rabbit Hunters & Souse Eaters Social Club have had an ongoing fight to the scratches with a flea infestation in the Rabbit Journal’s Pack. In my attempts to kill the fleas, I’m surprised I haven’t killed half the pack

In the earliest chemical warfare battles, I deployed Pet Armour Plus purchased from Amazon. The active ingredients are Fipronil and (S)-methoprene..  The results were amazing. It was like I put a dab of water on each dog.

Next I sprayed the pens and bedding with a combination of  Permethrin and a IGA regulator to prevent the eggs from hatching along a dose of Capstar followed by Pet Armor Plus purchased from Wally World a week later. Pretty much the same results. The fleas were gone off the dogs for a couple of days and then they were back

Next up will be a combination of spraying plus Comfortis

Well, that was pretty embarassing

Especially with a witness.

I went to the barn this morning to tend to the animals and a friend, Ricky was already there. He told me to look at the end of the run through the  barn. There set a big buck rabbit!

I walked to the end of the run and the rabbit took off towards the dog pens stopping only about 10 yards from the legendary Rabbit Journal Pack. I casually walked to the pens and through the gates open.

The rabbit headed south and dove through a section of hog wire. The dogs took off north celebrating being out of the pen without a thought as to the rabbit

I ended up walking the dogs all around where the rabbit had run and they acted like their smellers were broke. I could tell that Ricky was a little embarrassed for me especially with all my bragging about how great the dogs had done last season